Examining the Role of Religion in Radicalization to Violent Islamist Extremism

In this article, the authors apply the four-phase radicalization model proposed by Silber and Bhatt 1 1. M. Silber and A. Bhatt,Radicalization in the West: The Homegrown Threat (accessed 19 December 2011).View all notesto a case study of Australia’s first convicted terrorist, Jack Roche, based on communication with Roche after his incarceration and on a qualitative analysis of his trial. In doing so, they examine the validity of the four-phase model to a case of “home grown” terrorism and dissect the role of religion in the radicalization process. To conclude, the authors find that religion plays a far lesser role in radicalization toward violent extremism than the policy response contends and this has implications for counterterrorism programs that aim to address the drivers of violent extremism.

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